Minister Kemayah Hails Japan For Rice Donated To Liberia By: Julius Konton

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Liberia’s Foreign Minister  Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., has hailed the Government and People of Japan for the 10th Round of the Kennedy Round (KR), Food Aid to Liberia, stating that the purpose of these commodity grants is to support Liberia’s socio-economic recovery projects that are not captured in its fiscal budget. “We are proud to say that Liberia has maintained the integrity of the monetization of the KR Rice, and we will continue to do so to fully accelerate our national development agenda”. Minister Kemayah said the Government of Liberia has undertaken numerous and tangible development projects using the sale proceeds of these grant commodities, with the approval of the Government of Japan, disclosing that the Japanese Counterpart Value Funded Projects are ranging from the construction of roads, local housing units, market buildings, warehouses, bridges, etc. for which the government of Liberia remain very grateful to the Government and People of Japan for their continued support towards Liberia’s economic recovery efforts. Speaking at the signing ceremony of the 10th round of the KR food aid exchange of notes on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Kemayah mentioned that these social economic infrastructures are geared toward jobs creation, income generation and sustainable livelihood beyond just food aids. The Dean of the Cabinet said in close consultation with the Japanese Counterpart Value Fund Secretariat, the government of Liberia have identified key future funding projects for the utilization of the sale proceeds from the Japanese KR Food Aids.   “I would like to catalog these invaluable projects subject to the approval of the Government of Japan for your kind consideration and support, the extension of the newly built Duala Market and the construction of a modern parking lot, the construction of two (2) large market buildings in Foya District, Lofa County. For his part, the Ambassador of Japan to Liberia,  Mochizuki Hisanobu said the donated rice is value at US$2 million, adding that he is delighted to announce that the total amount of new food assistance will be value of 300,000,000 yen. Ambassador Hisanobu said in 2008 the Government of Liberia entered into a bilateral agreement with the Government of Japan to address food security challenges in Liberia, noting that since then, the Government of Japan has been providing rice to Liberia through the Kennedy Round (KR) Food Assistance to Liberia to be sold at a minimum cost in an effort to alleviate hunger in Liberia. Ambassador Hisanobu intoned that the Food Assistance program is important from the viewpoint that it shares objectives that are consistent with promoting the concept of human security, adding that human security which Japan has been advocating on the world stage, is a concept that pursues the right of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want, through their protection and empowerment.  The Japanese Ambassador said the Food Assistance program has been one of the sustainable means of raising revenue through the Counterpart Value Fund to tackle the Government of Liberia’s pro-poor developmental initiatives and also address cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and the dignity of people.

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